I searched frantically for a place to pull over, finally drawing my car into a church parking lot. I went up the hill, up into the graveyard, and perched on a tombstone, surveying the valley and mountains, and over them, the biggest, brightest rainbow I had ever seen. The world sparkled, washed anew, and the rainbow arched over it in wide-open praise. It soared over the town; over cars too busy to stop; over the church, that emblem of a religion much scarred; and over the graveyard. It shouted out, with the voice of my God, “Never again!”
It said, “There is coming a time after the storm when a rainbow will arch in riotous redemption over the church, that emblem of a religion much scarred; over the people who now cry, stuck in hospitals where they cannot see rainbows; over the graveyards out of which the dead will be rising to life everlasting. There is coming a time when God will speak once more and say, ‘Never again!’”
I soaked it in. Below me a girl and lady stood by a tombstone. They traced it with their eyes. I wondered if they could hear the voice of the rainbow. Sometimes it is so hard to hear the voice of God…
We sat on the hay bales looking into the night sky. We spoke of the comet, a miracle from God that appeared to us when we weren’t looking for it. We talked of how big the stars were, how far away. We gazed up at the expansive canopy of glimmers, testimonies to the power of God, voices outside our comprehension.
“I wish,” he said, “I could be a shepherd boy and sleep under the stars every night, with nothing to do the next day except tend sheep.”
“Yes,” I agreed, “It would be fun to be a shepherd… Maybe in my next life.”
I imagined tending sheep in the world to come, when this universe will be folded like a curtain and replaced with a creation that is flawless. The stars and the quiet and the peace inside my heart spoke of coming home and of a home-coming to come. They whispered, “Never again.”
Then we will we never push ourselves into the prosaic to stay afloat in this world of chaos. Never again will the moment end, that moment when we catch a glimpse of God’s world as He means it…
My life goes on, in endless song.
Sometimes struck with a note of discord. But still it goes on. I’m not the one composing it. It’s funny how minors and discordant notes can add to the beauty of a song, even though we cringe when we first hear them.
I am incredibly blessed. I do not live in Nazi Germany, nor Communist Russia, nor do I live in Ancient Rome under Nero. But even if I did, I still suppose I would be incredibly blessed. In a world where there would be love, friendship, and the grace of Jesus, in a world where there would always be hints of a life to come, I would be blessed.
I think that God has left pieces of perfection afloat in this world. The “groaning of creation” as mentioned by Paul in Romans reminds us that this is not the end. No, this is not the end. I see the things that declare the glory of God, groaning and praising simultaneously. How much more should we?